The Youth is our Future…

This is a very interesting article from Intenationa Development Journal, I went ahead and copied the article with highlighted factors that I thought were most important aspects of this read.

Take a look at the article and let me know what you think…

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Why young people are key to achieving the SDG

Young people today face considerable challenges in creating a bright future for themselves.

In high-income economies, young people’s prospects have plummeted, and there are significant concerns for their positon in the labour market and the future of their financial security. The situation is worse for young people in low-income countries, where many workers are involved in informal employment – something the ILO describes as sporadic, poorly paid and falling outside the protection of law.

Many of the global challenges to development are especially salient for children and youth. September marks the one-year anniversary of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, where world leaders established the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. The goals established that young people are a driving force for development – but only if they are provided with the skills and opportunities needed to reach their potential, support development and contribute to peace and security.

One way of doing this would be by implementing an economic citizenship strategy for children and youth. It would help national policy-makers and leading youth-serving organizations achieve many of the SDGs and sub-targets in the drive to create a viable economic and social system for the future.

What is economic citizenship?

An emerging concept in the field of development, economic citizenship refers to “economic and civic engagement to promote sustainable livelihoods, sustainable economic and financial well-being, a reduction in poverty and rights for self and others”. Ashoka, the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, defines economic citizenship as existing inan environment where every citizen has the opportunity and the capacity to exercise his or her economic, social and cultural rights”.

Economic citizenship consists of four components: financial inclusion, financial education and social and livelihoods education.

  • Financial inclusion is access to safe, appropriate and affordable financial services.
  • Financial education includes instruction and/or materials designed to increase financial knowledge and skills.
  • Social education is the provision of knowledge and skills that improve an individual’s understanding and awareness of their rights and the rights of others. It also involves the development of life skills such as problem solving, critical thinking and interpersonal skills.
  • Livelihoods education builds one’s ability to secure a sustainable livelihood through skills assessment and a balance between developing entrepreneurial and employability skills.

Economic citizenship has the potential to improve economic and social well-being, increase economic and social engagement, enhance understanding of and respect for basic rights, reduce income and asset poverty, and lead to sustainable livelihoods for children and youth.

The link between the SDGs and economic citizenship

There are seven specific SDGs that demonstrate the clear link between economic citizenship for children and youth and the attainability of the SDGs.

SDG 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Granting access to quality, affordable and convenient financial services can contribute to eradicating extreme poverty (people living on less than $1.25 a day) and reducing the proportion of men, women, and children of all ages living in poverty (SDG 1.1 and 1.2). Financial inclusion should be supported by and integrated with financial, social and livelihood education to help children and youth accumulate savings and develop responsible financial behaviours, qualities that are useful to reducing the impact of economic shocks (SDG 1.5).

SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages

Economic condition, income, working position, education and culture are all distal determinants of health and well-being, while social education provides more understanding of rights, empathy and respect. The combination of financial inclusion and social education is also useful to ensure universal access to information and education regarding sexual health (SDG 3.7).

SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education

Financial and livelihoods education can increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and soft skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship (SDG 4.3, 4.4, 4.6). Social and financial education can help ensure all young people, both male and female, achieve literacy and numeracy (SDG 4.6).

SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empowerment for all women and girls

Providing financial access and developing financial capabilities for young women and girls builds social and economic empowerment, allowing them to take advantage of greater economic opportunities alongside their male counterparts.

SDG 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth

The current employment situation is very critical, especially for youth, as they represent the category with the highest unemployment rate in the labour market. A lack of relevant skills and the absence of access to appropriate financial services for entrepreneurs are two common barriers to youth employment. Through livelihoods education, youth can enhance their employability, obtain sustainable livelihoods and stimulate entrepreneurial activity (SDG 8.3, 8.5, 8.6).

SDG 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

In order to create safe, resilient and sustainable settlements and cities, it is essential to include children and youth in urban development strategies. Engaging youth through financial inclusion, financial education and livelihood education makes the goal of creating sustainable and safe cities more achievable (SDG 11.3).

SDG 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies

Financial education should not be limited to simply teaching children and youth how to manage finances, but also be grounded in ethical and ecologically responsible behaviour. Social education plays an important role in steering children away from financial behaviours and attitudes that may negatively affect not only personal well-being, but also that of the wider community.

Leave no one behind

Economic citizenship is a crucial factor in the fight to eradicate poverty and reduce inequalities globally.

Each of the core components represented in the conceptual model for economic citizenship support various aspects of poverty eradication efforts individually, but in combination they offer a viable force to affect systemic change and break enduring cycles of poverty.

Achieving the 2030 agenda relies not only on setting goals, but also on a responsive approach to the voice and needs of youth. By equipping young people with skills, knowledge and confidence in their abilities, there is a real chance that global leaders can harness the potential of young people to reach the SDGs over the next 14 years. Together we can work towards creating a generation of empowered youth and support long-term sustainable development.


Written by Jeroo Billimoria, Founder, Child and Youth Finance International

Jeroo Billimoria is a pioneering social entrepreneur and the founder of several award-winning international NGOs. Her innovative approach to managing social ventures and bringing them to global scale has earned her fellowships with Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, the Skoll Foundation and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. Billimoria founded Child and Youth Finance International in 2011.

Expat vs Immigrants

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I once had someone ask my thoughts on the difference between expats and immigrants. When I was searching in the internet for blogs of people who had moved to Egypt so that I could get a glimpse of their experiences to prepare me my move, I came across the word “expat” a lot. Once in a blue moon no matter how many years you have lived in an English spoken country, you will learn common words that you have no idea how you have missed it before. Expat was one of those words that I have never heard or learned throughout the 16 years of living in the US.

Growing up in USA I was always revered to as an immigrant or a green card holder. Every time I would hear that word “immigrant” or “green card holder”, I would grouch my teeth, as it always made me feel inferior or marginalized. I faced a lot of discrimination and verbal bullying for simply being an immigrant. So when she asked me what my thoughts on expat vs immigrants were, I immediately went back to that bad feeling I had with the word “immigrant”.

She had told me something interesting which got me thinking. “Expats are always revered to white people and immigrant are for the people of color”. Although to some extend she is right, she had never lived in America and didn’t know that even white people that are not born there are revered to as immigrants. Off course, class status, country and your purpose to moving to the United States can have an affect on how people precede towards your migration. A Saudi Arabian, Angolan, Chinese, German student who is privileged enough to study in the United States is revered to as international student. This student is not here to stay and take away the jobs of hard working Americans, in fact, these students are very good for the American economy because they come here, their government or rich parents pay for the schools and they often spend a lot of money.

Now a white Romanian who has migrated to the United States in the hopes of catching the “American dream” will face a lot of obstacles and discrimination as  a Latino would, holding the same purpose for migration.

However, when moving to Egypt, I faced something very different. Expats are those who have a special passport from either “USA, Canada, UK, German, European Union and some others”. Are also the diplomats, international lawyers, petroleum employees and international companies that hold employees from overseas.

Every other immigrant are either refugees from Middle East, East Asia, Sub-Saharian Africans and what we like to consider as “others” for the very minority groups.

With this I felt very uncomfortable as well, when all the sudden I was given privileges and priorities for simply being an American passport holder. Throughout my life in United States, I had to fight harder, had to over come many obstacles because I didn’t have the same privileges as someone who simply was born in the US. You can imagine how strange it is to all the sudden have the roles switched on me.

I like to tell people that I am a Cape Verdean American Muslim revert, living in Egypt who’s lives very much like an Egyptian woman. In other words, I am a little bit of both, not quite American and not entirely Egyptian. You can expect this to be very difficult for me, as I don’t hold the same privileges that any other Americans or expats would, living in fancy places and putting their children in expensive international schools nor do I share some of the same values or perspective in life as many Egyptian woman do.

So, there you have it, these are some of my thoughts on “expats vs. immigrants”. What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you feel the same or different? What are your experiences and feelings with theses two words? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Anniversary on WordPress

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I received a notification today from WordPress letting me know that today is my 4 year Anniversary from the day I decided to blog.

I first started to blog because I was really interesting in photography. I had no background experience or training in photography but I just enjoyed the creative aspect of taking photos.

Soon, I discovered that I liked to write my thoughts and experiences along with my photos. I haven’t been persistent on this blog and to be honest, I don’t really know quite yet what I mainly want to focus and achieve through blogging. All I know is that I enjoy it so I am just going to keep on writing and posting until I know what I want to focus on.

I also want to be consistent and try at least do 4 posts a month. With the new baby coming soon, I rather start this new habit as soon as possible so I don’t fall behind and just give up on it.

With that said, if you follow and read my post thank you so much for taking the time of your day to read my thoughts. I want to build a community and would love to read your thoughts too. What do you like to read the most? What blogs and posts do you enjoy?

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